Friday, May 13, 2005


In a time when the military can barely meet its obligations and is getting well and truly beat up in Iraq, the usual bunch of Repug nitwits, cretins, and morons shows up in the Unreality Bus to make things worse. Army Reservist Phil Carter at Intel Dump:

This morning's Washington Post reports on an amendment passed yesterday afternoon by the House Armed Services Committee which would bar women from service in "forward support companies" — defined very broadly — that have any chance whatsoever of seeing ground combat. Rep. John McHugh introduced the amendment (PDF), saying it was simply designed to enforce existing law, and that it was not a "Neanderthal initiative to keep women out of the Army." However, senior Army officials felt differently, firing last-minute faxes off to HASC in an effort to stall or defeat the amendment, which passed with the support of Chairman Duncan Hunter.
In a nutshell, it places the political and sexual politics of a few conservative political activists over the demands of military readiness — and ignores all of the record evidence that women have done well in the tough combat they've seen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Those who support this legislation will argue that they are, in fact, advancing military readiness by restricting combat billets to the men who can do the job. I couldn't disagree more. This is simply sex discrimination masquerading as readiness legislation. If you truly care about enforcing combat standards, then set a standard and enforce it. Once you sift through all the stereotypes and gender generalizations, there is nothing about sex per se which ought to make it a disqualifying condition for combat duty. It may be true that many women cannot meet the standard — but that is also true of many men. I led female MPs and served with female soldiers who were more than capable of doing their duty. Let's put the focus on combat readiness, not on gender.

I think this sends a terrible message to the women currently serving in the military — especially those who have seen combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and done well there. How do you explain this to them? How do you think these talented combat veterans are going to respond to the new restriction which places a giant roadblock in the middle of their career paths? I'll bet they vote with their feet. When that happens, our military's readiness will suffer.

Not that the Repugs care. Keeping women barefoot and pregnant is part of the plan, after all, and having women learn courage and self-reliance in the hard school of combat is just a no-go. What crap.


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